Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.
I have to be honest: I can only see part of the appeal. It makes sense to me if you spend most of your time in a low- or non-graphic environment, maybe coding or relying on terminal programs (like rtorrent or cplay or others ). But otherwise, it’s not as exciting as I suspected it would be.
I got no immediate speed increase over Openbox, which in retrospect doesn’t surprise me, since you’re still running X underneath the pseudo-terminal environment. Graphical programs run about the same speed, since things aren’t any different for them, except that they’ve been mashed into windows of unusual dimensions.
I also see in some screenshots where you can do compositing and so forth with awesome or another tiling wm, but that sounds even more self-contradictory. Why composite a tiled wm?
Either way, awesome is alluring and interesting on its own, partly because you kind of get the best of both worlds. Windows pop into place in a tiled fashion, but you’re free to drag them around the screen as you need (but again, that begs the question, why a tiled wm in the first place?).
It’s interesting to play with, but I don’t think it’s for me. But of course, these things have a way of gnawing at me, and probably in a year’s time I’ll be using awesome 24-7 and trying to convince newbies on the forums that awesome is the only way to go.